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Old 06-07-2013, 05:07 PM   #1
w117monte
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Dining Plan Dilemma

Hello all! first post!!
We are going in October with our 2 year old and looking forward to it! She is 2, so she is "free", but we are wondering if its better value to just get the dining plan for her also, or to just pay for kids meals out of pocket. We also may upgrade to the deluxe dining plan, but are unsure on that one too. Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:21 PM   #2
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If you want to add her to the DDP you will need to change her age to 3 and also you will have to pay for park tickets for her. All guests booked on hte same package require the same ticket and dining options. For example, if you have booked 7 day park tickets for the adults, your child will also require a 7 day ticket.

So, the least expensive option for you is to pay OOP for any extra meals that you may need for your child. She can eat off your plate for free, buffets are really good for that.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:43 AM   #3
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Since you'd have to buy a park ticket for the dining plan, most of the savings you'd get from her dining plan would be wiped out. You can get around the "same ticket" issue by booking the minimum tickets (1 day for paid plans, 2 days for free plan promotions), but I still feel that the excess cost of the tickets will likely outweigh the savings from the plans in general.

With a paid plan, you'd have to figure in the ticket cost as well as the actual plan costs, thus reducing her potential savings by the cost of the ticket. With the margins fairly slim as they are, this could put you in the red. If you add to that the fact that she's free at buffets and other family style restaurants, then it'll certainly eat away at any potential savings.

Under a free plan promotion, it's a bit more feasible, since you wouldn't have to factor in the cost of the plan itself. You're still going to struggle to overcome the additional expense of a 2-day ticket though in this case.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:51 AM   #4
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We took DD at 19 months and found that getting her a meal was a waste if food. We also traveled in October, and it was very warm for us (from the Pacific NW, so anything over 70 is hot!) and she ate fruit only the whole trip. My advise would be to feed her off your plate or pay OOP. Wait until you get there and see how she reacts to the climate and atmosphere to decide the right way to proceed.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:03 AM   #5
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Just wanted to add....

I'm sure you could bring from home some things that your little one will eat. In particular, snacks. Really depends one how well she normally eats.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:57 AM   #6
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Thanks guys! i never thought of having to buy a park ticket for her along with the dining plan. We will def be paying out of pocket, and taking stuff from home. Dole fruit cups in natural fruit juice are great to travel with, and she lives on Snyders pretzels. If only i could figure out a way to transport string cheese on an airplane. Itd be nice if Disney had a supermarket or something to go to and stock up.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w117monte
Thanks guys! i never thought of having to buy a park ticket for her along with the dining plan. We will def be paying out of pocket, and taking stuff from home. Dole fruit cups in natural fruit juice are great to travel with, and she lives on Snyders pretzels. If only i could figure out a way to transport string cheese on an airplane. Itd be nice if Disney had a supermarket or something to go to and stock up.
Your resort will have some staple items that you can purchase, or there are tons of supermarkets a cab ride away or order from one of the grocery delivery services in the area. Hth
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:38 PM   #8
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If you have a small soft sided cooler or insulated lunch bag you can pack the string cheese. Pack it inside the cooler with a frozen juice box and then put inside a checked bag. If you are only going with carry on you can freeze a bag of mini carrots to use as a cold pack.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:37 PM   #9
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Wow, this one thread is opening up so many doors for us. The grocery delivery option really seems like it is the way to go. We had her at disney in 2012, and know that the kids menus are basically all the same at each place, and she is a picky eater, even more so now that shes almost 3. Does anyone know if the restaurants will reheat food for us, or is that not allowed?
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w117monte View Post
Wow, this one thread is opening up so many doors for us. The grocery delivery option really seems like it is the way to go. We had her at disney in 2012, and know that the kids menus are basically all the same at each place, and she is a picky eater, even more so now that shes almost 3. Does anyone know if the restaurants will reheat food for us, or is that not allowed?
We were not able to get thing heated when we were there a few years ago. We were able to get hot water to use for her oatmeal (one if the things we could always count on her eating).
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:02 PM   #11
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The food courts in the hotel all have microwaves and toasters. They are there for your use.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w117monte View Post
Wow, this one thread is opening up so many doors for us. The grocery delivery option really seems like it is the way to go. We had her at disney in 2012, and know that the kids menus are basically all the same at each place, and she is a picky eater, even more so now that shes almost 3. Does anyone know if the restaurants will reheat food for us, or is that not allowed?
Due to health safety reasons, none of the restaurants are able to take food back behind the counter after it's been served to guests. This same applies to food originating from guests. So, unfortunately, beyond the publicly accessible appliances noted above, there isn't much reheating you can do (beyond the hot water stuff mentioned above as well).
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:35 PM   #13
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We we go, I like to pre-order grocery's to arrive at the hotel the same night as we do. I got a case of bottled water, diapers and wipes which meant I didn't have to pack two weeks worth of diapers on the plane. We also had a mini fridge in our room, so we got milk and string cheese to be there. Totally worth it. It also saved us money by having most breakfasts in the room and snacks to carry round, not to mention water that we pushed in the stroller. If you do something similar, just be sure to pack an insulated bag and ice pack to keep food you take into the parks cool.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:32 PM   #14
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One thing to note, many restaurants ( all that we have taken our kids; we will be making our 4th trip with a child 24 mos or younger) will offer to bring the child a plate of pasta ( Mac n cheese , spaghetti , buttered,etc) or fruit/veggies, etc. and at the buffet meals you are allowed to make them a plate. Because of this we never had to pay for a kids meal. What they offered for free was always plenty. Good luck and congrats on your trip! : )
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